Young Brits Say Life is Meaningless

Filed under: In The News

sad teenA survey of 2,000 young British people revealed that one out of every 10 16- to 25-year-old feels that life is "meaningless," and that nearly half -- or 47 percent -- are often stressed out.

The most affected were young adults who were not actively engaged in getting an education and those who were unemployed. Other reasons cited for the general malaise of this generation included a lack of community, dead-end jobs, feeling unsafe in their neighborhoods and "not having anything to do."

Strangely, the survey also showed that, overall, 70 percent of all young people felt happy with life, pointing to personal relationships with both family and friends as important factors in their emotional well-being. Despite this optimism, young Brits said they consider work and money to be a high priority, and that they are concerned about the recession. After all, other research shows that unemployment in Britain is likely to reach 3 million in 2009, and about 40 percent of that number will be workers under the age of 25.

The government isn't exactly thrilled with that number, either; the Prince's Trust (which published the survey) says that youth unemployment is costing the country about a million pounds each day in lost productivity. In addition, the government is planning to expand the scope of programs designed to support unemployed young people.

For anyone who was a member of Generation X, these statistics sound eerily familiar. When I graduated from college in 1993, my generation was expected to be the first since World War II to do worse than their parents. Then came the Internet, and the economy exploded.

While I certainly hope that the recession both here and abroad is short-lived, I have a feeling that this time we're in for the long haul.

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